On September 8, Variety reported that a film adaptation for Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s multi-award-winning LGBTQ+ novel is set to be screened and premiered at Toronto International Film Festival this Friday.
The 2012 YA novel, Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe, follows two Mexican-American teenagers who who form a unique bond after a chance meeting in the summer.
An exclusive clip spotlighting the characters’ first meeting was also revealed, highlighting Ari and Dante bonding over their names.
Aitch Alberto is the screenwriter and director behind the project with Max Pelayo (Ari) and Reese Gonzales (Dante) starring. Kyra Sedgwick and Eugenio Derbez (Ari’s father in the film and well-known Mexican actor), and Lin-Manuel Miranda are high-profile producers attached. Additional cast includes Eva Longoria, Luna Blaise and Kevin Alejandro.
This film marks Alberto’s “feature debut” stated in TIFF’s official film page for Ari & Dante. Financing and production for the adaptation came from Limelight, 3Pas Studios and Big Swing Productions, associated with Boies Schiller Entertainment, as reported by Deadline in 2021 when initial casting was announced.
According to a Publishers Weekly interview from 2021, it was over a 5-year process getting the novel adapted to screen. An exclusive first look still was initially revealed through Twitter during August.
Dante can swim. Ari can’t. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari’s features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself.
But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other―and the power of their friendship―can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.
Are you looking forward to the Ari and Dante film adaptation?